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Chapter 2: Origins of American Government Section 4

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1 Chapter 2: Origins of American Government Section 4

2 The Framers The Constitutional Convention began on May 25, 1787, with 55 delegates. These individuals, called the Framers, came from many backgrounds: Many had fought in the Revolutionary War. Eight had signed the Declaration of Independence. 34 had attended college at a time when it was a rare achievement. Two would become President, one a Vice President, nineteen a U.S. Senator, and thirteen a member of the House of Representatives.

3 A New Government The Framers elected George Washington as president of the convention and set up procedural rules. A majority of state delegations would need to be present to conduct business. Each delegation would have one vote. A majority vote would carry a proposal. NOTE TO TEACHERS: The above image depicts George Washington, who was president of the Constitutional Convention.

4 A New Government, cont. Then, on May 30th, the Framers made their biggest decision: to replace the Articles of Confederation rather than amend them. James Madison (right) was a major figure in the movement to replace the Constitution.

5 The Virginia Plan This plan called for a 3-Branch government with a legislative, executive, and judicial branch. Congress would have two houses (bicameral), with representation based on state population or the money the state gave to the central government. Congress would have more power than it had under the Articles. It would be able to force states to obey federal law. The members of Congress would elect a national executive and judiciary. These two branches would form a council that could veto acts passed by Congress. Small States that were not very wealthy opposed this plan

6 The New Jersey Plan Called for a government without strong & separate branches. Congress would have a single house (unicameral) with equal representation for each state. This Congress would have more limited powers than under the Virginia Plan. There would be an executive committee of several people, chosen by Congress. At the request of a majority of state governors, Congress could remove members of this committee. The executive committee would appoint a supreme tribunal to be the federal judiciary. Small States supported this plan while large wealthy states opposed it.

7 A Bundle of Compromises
Why was the Constitution called a “bundle of compromises”? The Framers had to resolve disputes involving such issues as: The exact structure of the new government Regional differences among the states The method of choosing the President How to amend the Constitution The limits on federal powers The Constitution they approved on September 17, 1787, has thus been called a “bundle of compromises.” Checkpoint Answer: Because the Framers had to make a number of compromises about many specific details of how the new government would function in order to gain enough votes to approve the document.

8 Compromises What compromises enabled the Framers to create the Constitution? The Connecticut Compromise This compromise dealt with how to determine the representation of states in the national legislature. The Three-Fifths Compromise This compromise dealt with issues arising from slavery. The Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise This compromise addressed northern and southern disagreements about foreign trade.

9 Connecticut Compromise
What was the Connecticut Compromise? Small states feared that larger states would dominate them under the Virginia Plan. The Connecticut Compromise, also called the Great Compromise, solved this dispute. In the House of Representatives, each state would be represented according to its population. In the Senate, each state would have equal representation. Checkpoint Answer: The combining of elements of the Virginia and New Jersey Plans to create a bicameral federal Congress in which state representation in the Senate would be equal while representation in the House of Representatives would be based upon state population.

10 The Issue of Slavery Disputes over slavery during the Convention arose because slavery was far more common in the agricultural South than in the more industrial North. However, slavery was legal in every states except Massachusetts.

11 Additional Compromises
Southern states wanted to count slaves as part of the state population. Northern states did not. Three-Fifths Compromise - counted each slave as three-fifths of a person when figuring representation in Congress.

12 Additional Compromises, cont.
Southern states wanted to protect their agricultural exports and the slave trade from regulation by Congress. Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise - Congress could not tax state exports or interfere with the slave trade for the next 20 years.

13 The key issues debated included:
Ratification Debate The key issues debated included: How strong should the new central government be to avoid the problems faced under the Articles of Confederation? Why didn’t the Constitution have a Bill of Rights, and was one really necessary? Did Congress and the presidency have too much power?

14 A New Government The Articles of Confederation could only be amended by a unanimous vote of all 13 states. But the delegates at the Constitutional Convention decided to require only 9 of 13 states to ratify the Constitution. They felt that a unanimous vote would be too difficult to achieve, and that the Articles were being replaced rather than amended. Copies of the new Constitution were sent to the states on September 18, 1787.

15 Federalists Supporters of ratification were called Federalists.
They argued that the Articles of Confederation were weak and needed to be replaced. Believed in a strong federal government Alexander Hamilton & James Madison were leaders among the Federalists Alexander Hamilton

16 Anti-Federalists Opponents of ratification were called Anti-Federalists. They opposed the new Constitution & ratification process. They thought the new central government would be too strong. Most of all, they argued that the Constitution needed a Bill of Rights to protect the people from the government. Led by Patrick Henry & John Hancock Patrick Henry

17 Bill of Rights Why did the Framers not include a bill of rights in the original Constitution? At first, Federalists said a Bill of Rights was not needed because: The state constitutions already protected individual rights and freedoms. The separation of powers among the three branches would keep the new national government from abusing its authority. But Anti-Federalists opposition was so strong that Federalists eventually promised to add a Bill of Rights once the Constitution was ratified. Checkpoint Answer: Because they felt the federal government would not be strong enough to abuse the rights of the people due to its separation of powers, and because the state constitutions already protected individual rights.

18 Federalist Writings The Federalist Papers influenced many Americans to support the Constitution These were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, all using the pen name, Publius. They consisted of 85 political essays, written between 1787 and 1788, and were soon published across the nation. These essays are still read widely today for their insights into the Constitution, the federal government, and the nature of representative democracy.

19 Anti-Federalist Writings
Anti-Federalists also wrote many essays, pamphlets, and letters The essays by “Brutus” were most likely written by Robert Yates. They were first published in New York. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia wrote a number of pamphlets and letters using the name “The Federal Farmer.” Around the country, debate over ratification was fed by these various written works expressing strong views on both sides.

20 Ratification Debate Ratification was swift in some states and bitterly contested in others. Approval of the Constitution required ratification by nine states. NOTE TO TEACHERS: Columns representing the States that had ratified ed the Constitution are placed in a row by the hand of God. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth ratifying state.

21 Trouble with Ratification
Even though 9 states had ratified the Constitution, without the support of the key states of New York and Virginia, the Constitution would fail. In Virginia, James Madison, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson supported the Federalists against Anti-Federalists led by Patrick Henry, James Monroe, and George Mason. New York was deadlocked until Alexander Hamilton helped turn the tide for the Federalists.

22 Success When Virginia and New York ratified the Constitution by narrow votes, success was finally ensured. Eventually all 13 states ratified the Constitution.

23 Inauguration The Confederation Congress chose New York City as the temporary capital of the United States. The new U.S. Congress first met on March 4, 1789, at Federal Hall in New York City. NOTE TO TEACHERS: Above image depicts a poster celebrating the bicentennial of Virginia’s ratification of the Constitution.

24 Inauguration, cont. George Washington was chosen as the first President by a unanimous vote of electors. He took office on April 30th. John Adams was vice president.

25 Key Terms Framers: the individuals who attended the Philadelphia Convention Virginia Plan: a plan offered at the Convention that called for a central government with three branches, with each state’s representation in a bicameral legislature based mainly on population New Jersey Plan: a plan calling for a central government with a unicameral legislature and equal representation of all the states.

26 Key Terms, cont. Connecticut Compromise: an agreement to divide Congress into two houses, one with representation based on state population and one with equal representation for all states Three-Fifths Compromise: an agreement to count each slave as three fifths of a person when determining state population Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise: an agreement forbidding Congress from taxing state exports or interfering with the slave trade for at least 20 years

27 Key Terms, cont. Federalist: a person favoring ratification of the proposed U.S. Constitution Anti-Federalist: a person opposing ratification of the proposed U.S. Constitution

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